I can’t believe I’ve lived in Utah for more than 35 years and never been to the LDS Church History Museum. The museum is really exciting right now, too, with a special interactive exhibit for children.
The museum is across the street to the west of Temple Square. The biggest problem is parking. If it’s not a busy time of day, you can park for free behind the Conference Center (for 2 hours). Otherwise, you’ll need to find a pay parking stall.
The first floor of the museum has some pretty cool church history items. There is a sunstone from the Nauvoo temple, the ceramic casts of Joseph and Hyrum’s faces, and the guns they had in the Carthage Jail (you didn’t think they were unarmed did you?) Our 3 and 6 year-old really liked looking at the relics and we spent about a half hour seeing historical items.
Upstairs you can see a statue of Moroni that is “temple-sized,” stand behind the old conference podium, or ramble through LDS-themed art exhibits from around the world. There is also a biographical exhibit for each prophet. My favorite item on display was Brigham Young’s sunglasses. According to the plaque, he wore them when he traveled to congregations all over Utah. They illustrate the chic style of Brigham Young.
For the rest of the year, this museum has an interactive gallery for children that was really fun for the kids. Activities included building and fishing from Nephi’s boat, traditional Mexican dancing (I didn’t know why either), a kitchen with farming and garden emphasis, a tower building exercise, and many other things. It was a lot like the Discovery Museum at the Gateway on a small scale. Our kids easily spent another 45 minutes here.
Go see the Church History Museum before the end of the year to see this cool exhibit.